By Rokki Parrinello, Tzofim Faculty.
Religious School Co-Principal, Beth Tikvah Congregation, Hoffman Estates, IL
It is hard to believe that as a fourth year segel (faculty) member, I still get opening day jitters. I think it is due to the anticipation of the unknown! Did I pack everything I need? What will the tzevet (staff) be like in my eidah (unit) this year? Will things go smoothly? Did I prepare everything I needed to before heading up to camp? However, once I entered the gates located at 600 Lac La Belle Drive, all of my anxiety began to dissipate and I quickly remembered what brings me back every year, and that is the magic of being at OSRUI.
The magic begins with the camp itself. I enjoy the openness and quiet of being at camp. The warmth and friendliness expressed by every person I pass as I walk to my Eidah (unit). The amount of ruach (spirit) and energy the madrichim (counselors) exhibit on a daily basis is magical. Watching the chanichim (campers) settle in to the routine of their eidah while quickly forming friendships. Knowing that each and every chanich (camper) will develop a deeper connection to their own Judaism through the many different types of learning opportunities they are presented with while at camp.
It was hard to hold on to even a sliver of opening day jitters now that camp is in full swing! The togetherness, the ruach, the nature, the spirituality, the Jewishness that OSRUI encompasses for all chanichim young and old, that is the magic. It is a feeling of belonging and understanding like none other. Being at OSRUI enriches and solidifies the Jewish identity of our children.
My first day of camp has been just like your child’s first day…energizing, motivating, exhausting, and wonderful. I am looking forward to all of the exciting opportunities the next two weeks will bring!